Feb 01, 2016
The words, no matter how wise or well-intentioned, couldn’t reach his pain. Even a careful translation from English to American Sign Language did little to help him grab hold of the 12-step program and follow it to sobriety.
“I was ready to die,” the deaf man said, signing passionately as he recalled his despair. “It was like walking to my death.”
Recovery finally took root for Kijana D. when he became a regular at Deaf Think Positive, a local nonprofit organization that, organizers say, is one of fewer than 10 centers nationwide providing accessible addiction treatment for the deaf and deaf/blind. It’s the only one so far that has licensed chemical-dependency counselors who also are deaf, they said.